Less than 24 hours after the news that Spider-Man is making his way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Phase Three, more details about this groundbreaking deal are starting to come through. We reported earlier today that the web-slinger's first appearance will be in Captain America: Civil War, before a new Sony-distributed Spider-Man movie hits theaters in June 2017. This report also revealed that 31-year-old Andrew Garfield, who played Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will not return to star. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Andrew Garfield is not coming back, while revealing that both Marvel and Sony are looking for a "much younger actor" to take over as Peter Parker.
The site also reports that practically the entire creative team behind The Amazing Spider-Man movies will be overhauled as well. Director Marc Webb is not coming back to the helm, and producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach have been "downgraded to executive producers, with no real say in the creative direction of the franchise." The studio is currently seeking a new screenwriter to craft the story for a third Spider-Man reboot in 13 years.
Marvel reportedly offered "billions" of dollars to get the Spider-Man rights back in full, which didn't happen, but some sources believe this could just be Marvel's first step to bringing Spider-Man back into their fold. Another source claims that Marvel's parent company Disney may also be positioning themselves to buy Sony altogether, "should it ever become available." Instead of taking the "billions" that Marvel offered, they essentially "leased" Spider-Man to Marvel for one movie, although there is also talk that Marvel and Sony are discussing ways on how to "integrate Marvel characters into future Spider-Man films."
Marvel's Kevin Feige and former Sony executive-turned producer Amy Pascal will produce the new standalone Spider-Man movie together, which Sony will retain distribution rights to along with final creative control. Sony and Amy Pascal will have more say in who becomes the next Spider-Man, even though he will first debut in a Marvel movie, which was revealed earlier today to be Captain America: Civil War. With that being said, Sony will still benefit from having Marvel architect Kevin Feige as a producer on the new Spider-Man reboot, while still retaining the film rights.
No money changed hands through this deal, which was said to be a "quid pro quo transaction," where Sony essentially "leased" their beloved Spider-Man character to Marvel for use in one movie, while still controlling the franchise. However, Marvel still controls the Spider-Man merchandising rights, and sales could be greatly bolstered if this reboot is successful, which would likely be larger than any cut they would get from a Spider-Man movie they co-produce with Sony. Here's what a "producer in the comic book field" had to say in a statement.
"Sony would never have made this deal if they still retained the merchandising rights. Even a poor performing movie could be saved by strong merchandise sales, and Spider-Man is one of the bigger brands out there."